TIME Music

Universal Sues Companies That Sell Mixtapes for Prisoners

Claims selling the mixtapes, which include artists like Steve Wonder, Eminem and the Jackson Five, is copyright infringement

Universal Music Group has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against a group of companies their lawyers suspect of distributing unauthorized mixtapes to prisoners.

The companies, including the Centric group and Keefe group, are accused of selling “care packages” for families to send their incarcerated loved ones that contain mixes of songs by artists like Steve Wonder, Eminem, LL Cool J, James Brown, and the Jackson Five.

“The ‘mixtape’ label is frequently a cover for piracy,” Universal said in the lawsuit, adding, “the infringing copies of Plaintiffs’ sound recordings and musical compositions, in which Defendants unlawfully transact and from which they unjustly profit, are contraband personified.”

Universal is demanding the maximum statutory damages of $150,000 for each copyrighted work infringed. Keefe and Centric group have not yet made public comment.

[h/t The Hollywood Reporter]

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